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Mc Laughlin Group

News/Business. (2013) New.

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PBS

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00:30:00

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Boehner 13, Biden 12, U.s. 8, Mcconnell 6, Joe Biden 5, Mitch Mcconnell 4, Washington 3, John 3, John Boehner 3, Christie 3, Concord 2, Mort 2, Cuomo 1, Newt Gingrich 1, Larry Sabato 1, Mortimer Zuckerman 1, Pat Buchanan 1, Peter King 1, Poors 1, Lexington 1,
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  PBS    Mc Laughlin Group    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    January 5, 2013
    12:30 - 1:00pm PST  

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from washington, the mclaughlin group. the american original. for over three decade, the sharpest in part by
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american petroleum institute. thanks to the votes of democrats and republicans in congress, i will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2% of americans. >> cliff averted. or at least half a cliff. in the senate, the vote was 89- 8. get this. vice president joe biden and republican senate minority leader mitch mcconnell negotiated the compromise that permitted the senate vote. the house was tight. 257-167. here are some elements. income tax rates on the
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wealthy, up. individuals who make more than $$400,000 per year and couples who make more than $450,000 per year. these americans will pay nearly 5% more in income taxes. capital gains taxes and dividend taxes, up. for those same high earners from a current 15% to 20%. income tax rates unchanged for everyone else. the rates stay the same. unchanged. but middle class citizens will take a tax hit. not in income taxes but higher payroll taxes. social security payroll taxes up 2%. on average, an extra $1,000 a year will be paid into social security by workers who make $50,000 per year. the percentage of u.s. households that will feel the pinch from these higher payroll taxes is 77%. question, why did 151 house
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republicans vote against this bill? why did joe biden strike a compromise with mitch mcconnell? pat buchanan? >> the republicans voted against it, john, because they made a commitment not to vote for higher taxes and taxes went up as a result of this bill. mitch mcconnell, however, he was the one instigator who called biden because he said, look, far better that we cut a deal which raises taxes on folks making more than $400,000 than have a tax bill that eliminates bush's tax cuts, taxes go up on 80% of the entire country and then obama comes in on january 1 and says i propose a tax cut for everybody that is making less than $250,000. so they took what they feel was a bad deal to prevent a totally ruin ous one politically and economically and i don't fault boehner or mcconnell for doing it. and they may not have negotiated well getting to the edge of the cliff, but when they got there, i think they made the right call for the party and for the country and
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the 300-point rise in the dow jones the next day suggests they did the right thing. >> in preventing the greater damage that would occur had they done the opposite? >> damage to the country torque the economy, and to the party. >> eleanor? >> i agree that boehner and mccomfortable did the right thing -- mcconnell did the right thing but they had to be dragged to the very edge of the cliff in order to do it. this was a self created trip wire so that congress would be forced to act and they almost tripped it. but the last minute, this is a victory for the president, tactical, political victory. the house republican caucus is in total disarray. the speaker has really no control over them. which is why mcconnell had to step in and he called on his long friendship with vice president biden who served in the senate for 35 years before becoming vice president and he learned some things along the way, and he knows how to negotiate. you find out what is the true bottom line of each side, and then you work your way to the middle. it was a masterful performance
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by senator biden -- senator biden, senator/vice president, maybe future president biden. because he will be taken a lot more seriously as a candidate for 2016 after this deal making. >> what role did president obama play in authorizing, if that's the right word, permitting, supporting the biden negotiations? >> well, after mcconnell called biden and said does anyone down there know how to make a deal, biden went to the president, and got his okay to plunge in here at the last minute. you almost wondered if it was wired this way all along. you kind of knew they were going to save the day at the very last minute and i must say, i think i and a lot of americans probably felt a little bit had by all of the drama and the tension. in the end, the only they they really could do, they did. >> do you think the obama/boehner paralysis was a
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set-up? or was that authentic? >> that's authentic. the president tried to walk down the aisle with boehner twice. and boehner couldn't deliver. he cannot control his caucus. now whether anybody could is another question. >> you know what scrambled eggs are. >> yes. >> are you in the position, aamongst scrambling all of these eggs, because a viewer has to understand this, one of the things that obama did, well, he dispatched biden out there -- >> what is obama's problem right mow? what is it going into this? >> what is going into it is republicans didn't watch tax hikes on the rich but obama wanted this whole raft of special interest tax credits for wind, for algae energy, for nascar and hollywood, got tax credits out of this bill. >> the college credits. the day care. >> the obama push, if you look at just the business ones, leave aside the individual ones, there is more money, 70 billion in business tax credits, so that is revenue lost, than he gained in his tax hike to the rich, which was
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only 60 billion, over one year. and so obama had this disparate view where he wanted to raise taxes on the rich but he also wanted to cut taxes on the big business lobby so he has them on board for future negotiations. and republicans didn't like either of those. and obama won both of them. >> so obama's project was to soften the situation up, correct? >> yes. >> and he did it? >> he did it. he softened up the business lobby by giving them a whole raft of corporate welfare. >> yes. what do you think of that? >> i think he negotiated better than a lot of people thought we. >> he bought the support, didn't he? >> yes. >> what do you think of that? >> i think we have more respect for obama now, right? >> i wouldn't quite go that far but i think it is a good try. i think what happened was the republican leadership and the congress really had lost all trust in obama in the way they negotiated and they had no personal relationships with him which is not the case with joe biden so they had somebody at least to negotiate with, it is not the first time joe biden stepped in, and i think he did
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a first rate job and i think it was right for the president to allow him to do it and mitch mcconnell was right, who in that place could do the deal and biden was the one who could do the deal and he did the deal and thank god he did. >> okay. since you're up there, mort, let me explore this further you with. forget the fiscal cliff. think avalanche. in his column in 9 news and world report mortimer zuckerman drew back on the clear and present dangers of the debt and future unfunded obligations. quote, over the last four years, our national debt has grown by more than $5 trillion to over $16 trillion. we have to service that debt. the federal reserve is keeping rates historically low, but here is the course of paying interest on the debt for fiscal 2012. -- the cost of paying interest on the debt for fiscal 2012. $359billion plus. what do you get for that?
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nothing. the greatest fiscal challenge to the u.s. government is not just its annual deficit, but its total liabilities. our federal balance sheet does not include our unfunded social insurance obligations. medicare, social security, and the future retirement benefits of federal employees. only in the small print of the financial statements do you get some idea of the enormous size of the unfunded commitment. today, the estimated unfunded total is more than $87 trillion. that's 550% of our current gdp, gross domestic product. and the debt per household is more than 10 times the median family income. of course, we can go on whistling in the dark, until we run into the reality of a crisis we sometimes hear vaguely mentioned.
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when it is mentioned at all. unquote. >> that was an earlier column. have you had a chance to sleep on this? do you want to retract any of that? >> that is pretty scary stuff, mort? >> it is scary stuff. and i think a lot of people who who have followed this issue closely share the same view. this is not something i dreamt up. this is a very serious problem facing this country. and anything could turn it in the wrong way. you never know what kind of an event would in effect cause everybody to say we're not going to buy american debt any longer. 50% of our debt today is held by foreigners. when we came out of world war ii, we had zero debt held by foreigners. so we're dependent on the world to continue to buy our debt and why do we have to sell debt? because we run huge deficits every year. at some point this is going to blow up. >> hold on, mort. hold on for a minute. we have a debt rating, every nation has a debt rating, right? >> right. >> what is our debt rating? >> triple a. double a. >> double a in one of the accounts.
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the problem, john -- >> who puts out those ratings? >> moody's is one. >> credit rating agencies. >> what about something in poors, standard & poor's, they put it out also? >> that's right. >> what is it now, a minus. >> one is triple a, and >> and the fed is buying all of the debt. now, here is the -- >> wait a minute. let's hear that again. >> the fed is buying all of the debt. >> the debt is bought by the fed? >> they give cash to the government and that debt goes on the balance sheet of the federal reserve board. that's right. we're buying it, okay? or the federal government. the bank, the federal reserve board bank. >> let's go back to -- >> it is a game on some level. because nobody else will buy that amount of debt. not anybody in the world will buy that debt. >> will the chinese buy it? >> no, they're diminishing what
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they're buying, john. let me get to the crisis here. >> yes. >> the political crisis on top of this fiscal crisis is the republicans will not give obama one more dime in tax increases and the democratic party of harry reed and pelosi and basm are not going -- obama are not going to cut social security, medicaid, medicare, food stamp, pell grant, you name it, for the simple reason, that's what the party is in business for. that's the crisis you got right here now in washington. you've got two very powerful force, neither of which is moving, as you add a trillion dollars to the fef sit and -- deficit and debt every year. >> that's oversimplified. first of all the republicans cannot hold firm on threatening to take the country into default on the debt crisis. >> they are. >> they are threatening to do that. >> i know they are. >> and the business community is going to come down hard on them. and the allies have been -- so their side -- >> they will demand the republicans go for higher taxes? >> so their side of the argument is not as strong as it once was. and democrats are willing to
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deal on entitlintelligent estimate of boehner? >> i think boehner is a good leader who tries to accomplish the most conservative thing possible. he makes tactical mistakes. the plan b on the fiscal cliff is a mistake. the way he handled the final fiscal cliff bill throw was excellent manage of his party and i think he is safe and will be speaker as long as he wants to be speaker. >> nobody else wants the job or could handle the job. >> you don't think he has been misjudged? in other words is he far more canny than you think? what is the big thing he has going for him? the number one thing, he and obama get along. >> well, i don't know about that. >> he and obama can talk together. >> i think they both have respect for each other. >> what do you think of that? >> you ask him whether he trusts barack obama right now. >> i don't have to ask him that. >> he didn't trust him at all. >> the point is they get along.
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>> that doesn't make any difference. he can't trust obama. >> obama can't -- >> the chemistry is right between the two of them. >> who else can obama deal with? >> obama can't deal with either of them. he has biden up there dealing with mcconnell. >> boehner is not oust the act. >> boehner is a decent guy, he is a deal maker but he cannot control his caucus, therefore he is not a trustworthy partner. and he has promised his caucus -- >> i want to hear from mort on this. >> but that is a distortion of what is going on. the fact is in the negotiations with the president, the republicans have come to the conclusion that they can't trust his word. that what he does, he puts forward a program, and then he elevates the demands that he has, and then he uses it as politics to beat up on them and i think that is -- there is virtually no trust between them. unspoken to all of senior republicans, they say the same thing. >> why don't you try talking to senior democrats and get the other side. that is one side. >> and obama does not talk to a lot of the senior democrats.
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the republican party does not trust barack obama. they like biden and they can kind of deal with biden but you get the president, he sandbagged boehner twice. >> hey, pat -- >> do you know that the public debt of the united states and the first term of barack obama, went up over $4 trillion? >> $5 trillion. >> over 5? >> it is going up 4 more in the next four years. >> so he has to keep that off the table. that is bad for obama. >> no, he didn't. >> it is disastrous for obama. and the country. >> i mean historically. it is bad for him. he has a second term. >> john, we're running a trillion dollar deficit every year. and they haven't cut spending at all. >> how bad is that for obama to have run up that kind of a national debt? >> it is very bad for the country. therefore, i assume it is going to be seen as bad for the president. but there is a note that -- >> 5 trillion. >> or 16 trillion. >> look at over 200 years to develop a deficit of, a debt of $200 trillion. we did $5 trillion in the last
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four years. >> we have an economy that still needs short-term stimulus. we do have the long-term cuts. cut the debt. and the voters -- >> no. >> and the voters trust this president to protect their interests as opposed to the republicans on capitol hill. >> you have 15 secondses max to close this off. what do you want to say? >> i think nobody can really trust obama. that he doesn't get along well with anybody. personally, i think he gets along well with his wife and kids and mcconnell and boehner can't deal with him. he is prickly. >> obama doesn't get along with anybody? >> personal, he may be but you cannot trust him in negotiations. >> i tell you who he trusts. >> boehner couldn't deliver. >> he trusts the vice president, does he not? >> joe biden goes up there and knows how to cut a deal and both of them wanted a deal. >> they happened at sandy hook elementary does not happen again. >> the bill of rights to the
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u.s. constitution ratified in 1791 enshrines the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. so says the roberts supreme court in a recent rules. the origin of the second amfirst battle of the american revolution. english troops were on their way to concord, massachusetts, where they would seize the colonists arms and ammunition. in 1775, they were ambushed at lexington, seven miles from concord, by the so-called minute men. the second amendment of the u.s. constitution 1791 was drafted by james madison, who later became our fourth president, and was modeled existing state precedent. a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a sphree state, free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be
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infringed. unquote. the key concept underlying this article in the bill of rights is this. individual gun ownership is a defense against tyrants, whether a monarch like king george iii or a modern dictator like adolph hitler. that right says the supreme court can be subject to reasonable regulation but cannot be done away with all together. so, to repeal the constitutional right to keep and bear arms requires obviously amending the u.s. constitution, which is an elaborate and costly process. either a new national constitutional convention, or approval of the proposed emandation by two-thirds of state legislators. arguments in favor of repealing the second amendment include banning private firearm ownership to prevent atrocities like the newtown murders. entrusting authorities and the rule of law to safeguard our security and liberties instead
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of armed citizens. question, if the u.s. constitution were being drafted today, would it be a good idea or a bad idea to exclude the second amendment? tim? >> i think we ought to exclude the first part which adds the ambiguity and to say the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. the taking away of guns from americans would not keep us safer from gun violence. there have been many academic studies by this. there was a harvard journal of policy and law, something like that, and national academies of sciences to find do stricter gun laws have an effect on gun ownership and gun crime? no. >> i am sure i could match surveys with you and i think that is kind of a pointless exercise, but nobody is talking about, you know, amending the second amendment or repealing it or anything like that. all people in this gun violence debate want to do is to
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regulate the sale of weapons and maybe ammunitions so people can't goo go out and mow down 20 first graders in 15 minutes. there is no reason people should have access to assault weapons. we don't need it. the sportsmans don't need it. >> eleanor, there are 3 million bush master types out there right now, and people are buying them like hot cakes, every gun show, the sales are up enormously, 41% they were up in december over last december, which was a record year. john, what is common though, eleanor is correct, the push will come on three things, to grandfather in the assault weapons that are here now, to try to outlaw assault weapons, outlaw magazines that carry more than 11 or 12 bullets. >> wait a minute, wait a minute. let me get this in there. with no second amendment, congress could pass a law as limited as this. banning assault rifles or as sweeping as prohibiting all private firearm ownership and requiring the surrender of all
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privately held firearms. there could be no appeal. >> it would be a revolution in this country. >> baloney. that doesn't mean you can't own one but you have to put it in first and then go in and try to -- 270 million guns in this country right now, john, and they're adding to them at the rate of about 16 million a year. >> assault weapons? >> everything else that has been proposed is filled with loopholes. and it does not solve the problem. >> no weapon ban is meaningless. the term assault weapon means scary looking gun. >> doing nothing -- >> contemplating it. >> licensing people to use them, putting identification on guns, like the number on your car vehicles, so you can identify who owns them, they have that, and only the owner can use it. if i use my ipad, nobody else can use it. but if i had a gun, which i obviously don't, tim could come in and use it, and turn
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issue three. christie's ire. >> shame on you. shame on congress. there is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. the house majority and their speaker, john boehner. >> chris christie, the republican governor of new jersey, let loose a category five slam against the republican-led u.s. house of representatives this week. and in particular, its republican leader john boehner. it was because the disaster aid package was delayed totaling some $60 billion for the 24 states hit in october by hurricane sandy. no vote. governor christie's state of new jersey was ravaged by the storm. sustaining $38 billion in damages. christie said he had been assured the relief vote would happen in the house on tuesday night. it had already passed the u.s. senate. but he was informed shortly before midnight that no vote
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had been taken. on wednesday, the governor went ballistic. >> last night, politics was placed before oaths to serve our citizens. for me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch. if the people of new jersey feel betrayed today, by those who did this in the night, then they have good company. i'm with them. >> on the time frame. on friday afternoon, the house passed $9 billion for relief funds. so he appears to be somewhat set on that. now, on emergency relief, why did john boehner kick the can down the road? eleanor clift? >> well, i suspect there was some exhaustion there and he didn't want to irritate his tea party members anymore but there is also a split between north and south in the republican caucus. apparently, according to larry sabato at uva, political scientist, 88% of southern republicans voted against the
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fiscal cliff deal, 88% of northern republicans voted for it. so a lot of southern republicans think why should we be bailing out these blue states in the north? and northern republicans say hey, we're donor states, we send more money to washington than we get back and we bailed out all of you red states so there is a lot of anger about this, and it was stupid to deny federal aid -- >> no it wasn't. >> to the victims of sandy. who are still living in shelters and suffering. >> $60 billion bill that died, that did not just include sandy stuff. that included fisheries in alaska. and american samoa. pongo pongo is more than 7,000 miles away from the jersey shore and money going there was not necessarily an emergency. and they right away passed the billions for new jersey. >> boehner by the way had an election as to whether or not he is going to be returned and he was return and i think the difference was two votes.
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but secondly, let's get the calendar straight. boehner said you can go home. it is tuesday. and then he called them back to be back on friday. now, what day was tuesday? when was new years day? >> tuesday. >> tuesday. >> they were in session on tuesday and he says why don't you go home and have your family and then he left open calling them back and he called them back on friday. >> the fundamental point, john, there were $17 billion in this bill for community grants and all these other things, newt gingrich this morning said on tv, two-thirds of the money is going to be spend two years from now or more. it was a stocking stuffer. >> that is misleading. >> they can do this -- >> let mort in. >> the replacement of what has been destroyed is going to take time to build. okay. you can't build it -- >> you can't build in january. >> what can you do in january? >> okay. >> there are bridges, there are roads, there are a lot of houses. it takes time to build these things. >> so i want a bottom line here. i want a bottom line before we sign off. what do you think of the ire of the governor of new jersey?
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>> i think it is misplaced. >> misplaced? >> misplaced -- >> completely well placed as peter king, republican from new york -- >> the way he did it. >> conservatives shouldn't angrily ask for more money. >> both governor cuomo and i am not calling for the suppression of gun ownership by any means. out of time. bye-bye.
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